Sheffield Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray praised an “overall team performance” after a terrific first-half strike from Giles Coke sealed this opening-day victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
Midfielder Coke clinched maximum points for the Owls with a tremendous left-footed shot into the top corner four minutes before the interval.
Brighton were forced to play the final 40 minutes with 10 men after midfielder Andrew Crofts received a straight red card for a high tackle on Sam Hutchinsonn.
It took Wednesday 17 games to record their first victory last term, and Gray said: “It’s good to get that monkey off our back straight away.
“It was an overall team performance and every player put in an eight or nine out of 10 display.
“(Brighton manager) Sami (Hyypia) will be disappointed, but we controlled the game and deserved the three points.”
Gray felt the dismissal of Crofts was the correct decision based on the amount of contact there was on defender Hutchinson.
He explained: “The referee did a very good job and took his time. If Sam stays down, it was the right decision.”
Gray, who has boosted his threadbare strike force by bringing in St Johnstone striker Stevie May for around £800,000, was full of praise for the 2,500 travelling fans and is eager for his men to build on their good start.
He added: “The division will be wide open and I’m delighted with my team; it shows what team spirit and determination can do.”
Brighton & Hove Albion: Stockdale, Saltor, Greer, Hughes, Calderon (Mackail-Smith 76), Crofts, Ince, Forster-Caskey (Agustien 61), Shamir Fenelon (Buckley 61), O’Grady,LuaLua. Unused substitutes: Dunk, Chicksen, Toko, Walton.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer,Lees, Loovens, Mattock, Maguire, Coke, Lee, Hutchinson, Maghoma (Semedo 81), Nuhiu (Madine 86). Unused substitutes: McCabe, Zayatte, Floro, Kirkland, Kelhar.
Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight).